At the Mido trade show a year ago, Claudio Gottardi, president and chief executive of Marchon Eyewear, had reported a turnover of $979 million for 2014 and predicted the company's turnover would break the symbolic $1 billion barrier this year, growing by around 7 percent in constant currencies.
At the recent edition of Mido one month ago, Gottardi refrained from putting a specific figure for 2015 on the table but indicated that the goal had been attained. Sales went up by 3 percent in terms of U.S. dollars, but they were up by around 10 percent in local currencies. They rose by 10 percent in the U.S. alone. Very strong growth was recorded in individual countries such as China and France, where the licensed Chloe and Lacoste collections performed very well, but like other companies, Marchon suffered from lower demand and adverse currency exchange rates in Russia and Brazil.
Nike and other major licenses registered growth of close to 18 percent on a combined basis last year. Making up for the loss of Michael Kors, Marchon added several new brands to its portfolio in the past year including Etro, Marni and MCM, which is selling particularly well in the Far East. It continued to announce new licenses in the last few months, including Liu Jo and Columbia Sportswear. The loss of the Valentino license, which will go to Luxottica at the beginning of 2017, will have a minimal impact on the company's performance as it has represented less than one percent of Marchon's total revenues lately.
Backed by the financial and R&D resources of its parent company, VSP, whose total revenues grew by about 7 percent last year to €4.8 billion, Marchon is working on several research projects. It plans to release soon a spectacle that will provide data based on biometrics in cooperation with Nike, which recently extended its licensing deal with Marchon until 2023. It is studying applications in the health area and getting ready for the advent of 3D printing in the eyewear sector.
Gottardi stressed that Marchon has no intention to move into physical retailing. It continues to take advantage of the possibilities offered by the internet for special solutions such as the delivery of mounted glasses in the U.S. VSP's database of customers covered by its health insurance programs has allowed Marchon to work well through e-commerce in China